Aug. 1, 1252 – Italian archbishop and explorer Giovanni da Pian del Carpine died around the age of 67. He was one of the first Europeans to enter the court of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He was the author of the earliest important Western account of northern and central Asia, Rus, and other regions of the Mongol dominion.
Aug. 1, 1498 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.
Aug. 1, 1770 – American soldier and explorer William Clark was born in Ladysmith, Colony of Virginia. Along with Meriwether Lewis, Clark helped lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States. Afterward, he served in a militia and as governor of the Missouri Territory.
Aug. 1, 1774 - Dissenting British minister Joseph Priestly, author of “Observations on Civil Liberty and the Nature and Justice of the War with America,” discovered oxygen while serving as a tutor to the sons of American sympathizer William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, at Bowood House in Wiltshire, England. Joseph Priestley shared the liberal religious and political philosophy of many of America’s revolutionary leaders, including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, all of whom became his friends and correspondents. Priestley later established the first Unitarian church in Philadelphia, where then-Vice President John Adams attended his sermons
Aug. 1, 1775 - A militia group under the general command of Major General James Wilkinson was ambushed by a group of Cherokees and Loyalists near present-day Seneca, South Carolina. The militia won the engagement.
Aug. 1, 1779 - Francis Scott Key was born. He was an American composer, attorney, poet, and social worker. He wrote a poem called "Defence of Fort McHenry" that became the lyrics to the song "Star-Spangled Banner." President Woodrow Wilson declared it the national anthem in 1916, and Congress followed with a resolution in 1931, signed by President Hoover.
Aug. 1, 1790 - The first U.S. census was completed with a total population of 3,929,214 recorded. The areas included were the present states of Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia
Aug. 1, 1809 – William B. Travis, who would go on to become the commander of the ill-fated Alamo, was born in Edgefield District, S.C., near Old Fort Ninty-Six. (Some sources say he was born on Aug. 9, 1809.)
Aug. 1, 1819 – “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville was born in New York City.
Aug. 1, 1823 – The federal land office officially opened in Sparta, Ala. Prior to that date, land grants in the vicinity of Conecuh County had to be filed in the land office at Cahaba. Johnathan G. Shaw of Massachusetts was the first receiver at Sparta, and Mark Travis, the father of Col. William B. Travis of the Alamo, bought the first land sold by the Sparta Federal Land Office. (Some sources say this office opened on this date in 1822.)
Aug. 1, 1831 – Edgar Allan Poe’s elder brother, Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died.
Aug. 1, 1834 – Slavery was abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into force.
Aug. 1, 1838 – Non-laborer slaves in most of the British Empire were emancipated.
Aug. 1, 1838 – Confederate soldier and physician Calvin Calhoun Nettles was born at Blacks Bend. He enlisted in the Monroe Guards on March 15, 1861 and enlisted in the 5th Alabama Regiment on July 28, 1861 at Bells Landing. He was listed as sick at Richmond General Hospital between Sept. 1, 1861 and Oct. 31, 1861. He was taken prisoner at South Mountain, Md. on Sept. 14, 1862, but later paroled and furloughed. He was listed as missing in action at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 and was taken prisoner at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was discharged on Feb. 14, 1865, became a doctor after the war and moved to Mobile. He died sometime after 1921.
Aug. 1, 1840 – Laborer slaves in most of the British Empire were emancipated.
Aug. 1, 1855 – The first ascent of Monte Rosa, the second highest summit in the Alps, was achieved.
Aug. 1, 1861 – The Confederate 14th Alabama Infantry Regiment was formed at Auburn and was composed of men from Chambers, Lowndes and Tallapoosa counties. The unit was commanded by Col. Thomas James Judge of Butler County.
Aug. 1, 1861 - Captain John Baylor claimed most of the territories of Arizona and New Mexico for the Confederacy.
Aug. 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant appointed General Philip Sheridan commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. Within a few months, Sheridan drove a Confederate force from the Shenandoah Valley and destroyed nearly all possible sources of Rebel supplies, helping to seal the fate of the Confederacy.
Aug. 1, 1876 - Colorado became the 38th state to join the United States.
Aug. 1, 1883 – Ina Marie Porter Henry, the daughter of Judge Benjamin F. Porter, began working as an associate editor of The Greenville Advocate.
Aug. 1, 1984 – The Pea River Power Company Hydroelectric Facility, south of Elba in Coffee County, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Aug. 1, 1907 – Sri Lankan-English mountaineer and explorer Eric Shipton was born in Ceylon.
Aug. 1, 1908 – Prof. W.W. Hall resigned from his position as President of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School to accept the position of Vice President of Cokers College for Women of South Carolina.
Aug. 1, 1914 – World War I erupted as, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declared war against each other, France ordered a general mobilization, and the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The "Great War" that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.
Aug. 1, 1914 – F.H. Farrar, who erected the first dwelling and store at Tunnel Springs, passed away at the age of 57 at his home in Pensacola. Born on March 4, 1857, he moved to Pensacola in 1907, where he was in the dry goods business up to the time of his death.
Aug. 1, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Clifford Cunningham of Atmore, Ala. “died from wounds.”
Aug. 1, 1918 - Alabama author Amelie Rives's play “Allegiance” opened on Broadway.
Aug. 1, 1924 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Noah “Wizard” Whateley of Dunwich passed away from natural causes. He first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.
Aug. 1, 1936 - Adolf Hitler presided over the Olympic games as they opened in Berlin.
Aug. 1, 1938 – The Evergreen Greenies baseball team beat the Dothan Browns, 7-6, in Evergreen, Ala.
Aug. 1, 1938 – Former Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Kardow took over the Evergreen Greenies baseball franchise.
Aug. 1, 1944 – During World War II, the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation broke out in Warsaw, Poland. The revolt continued until October 2 when Polish forces surrendered.
Aug. 1, 1945 - Mell Ott hit his 500th career home run.
Aug. 1, 1946 – Leaders of the Russian Liberation Army, a force of Russian prisoners of war that collaborated with Nazi Germany, were executed in Moscow for treason.
Aug. 1, 1947 – Starting at 1 p.m., WEBJ 1240 in Brewton began broadcasting for the first time and at that time this station was the only broadcasting station between Montgomery and Mobile.
Aug. 1, 1949 – Poet James Dennis “Jim” Carroll was born in Manhattan, N.Y. He is best remembered for his 1978 book, “The Basketball Diaries.”
Aug. 1, 1953 – Conecuh County Sheriff John H. Brock arrested Willie D. Merrill on murder charges in connection with the shotgun slaying of his wife around 8 p.m. at their home in Brownville.
Aug. 1, 1953 – “Shane,” considered by many critics to be the greatest western movie of all-time, is released by Paramount Pictures. The movie is based on the 1949 novel by Jack Schaefer.
Aug. 1, 1964 - Mary Aline Culpepper of Monroeville was selected as one of 26 finalists for Miss Alabama from a slate of 150 contestants.
Aug. 1, 1966 - Charles Whitman shot 46 people, killing 16 and wounding 31, from the observation platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas at Austin before being killed by police.
Aug. 1, 1970 – The Pinckney D. Bowles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy began delivering pre-purchased copies of a “memory book” that featured articles about Conecuh County history, including stories handed down by veterans of the Civil War. The books sold for $1.50 each, and Mrs. Moreno (Mamilu) White was in charge of the book sales.
Aug. 1, 1972 - Joe Namath signed a two year contract worth $500,000 with the New York Jets.
Aug. 1, 1976 – Sparta Academy head football coach Mike Bledsoe was scheduled to hold a preseason meeting of the football team on this Sunday at 5 p.m. in the school gymnatorium.
Aug. 1, 1976 - The Seattle Seahawks played their first (preseason) game. The Seahawks lost, 27-20, to San Francisco.
Aug. 1, 1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds ended his streak of hitting in 44 consecutive games.
Aug. 1, 1984 – During a municipal run-off election in Evergreen, Ala., city councilman Aubrey D. Padgett, the city’s mayor pro tem, was re-elected to his third term on the council, beating challenger Jimmy Johnson, 109-69. T.L. Sims defeated incumbent John E. Smith for the District Three council seat. In District 5, John “Fat” Claiborne beat Patricia L. Daley, 169-140.
Aug. 1, 1984 – Commercial peat-cutters discovered the preserved bog body of a man, called Lindow Man, at Lindow Moss, Cheshire, northwest England.
Aug. 1, 1986 - Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota Twins became only the 10th pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters in his career.
Aug. 1, 1993 - Reggie Jackson was admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Aug. 1, 1995 – “Circumstantial Evidence” by Pete Earley was released for the first time.
Aug. 1, 2001 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore had a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to a lawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.
Aug. 1, 2005 - It was announced that Raphael Palmeiro would be suspended for 10 days after testing positive for steroid use. Palmeiro stood by his statements to the U.S. Congress on March 17, 2005, that he had never taken steroids.
Aug. 1, 2007 - Alabama author and illustrator Dorothea J. Snow died on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Aug. 1, 2008 – Major League Baseball’s Will Clark was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Aug. 1, 2008 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.
Aug. 1, 2014 – Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium. Bridges took the mound with his glove on his head and went into a complete windup. Then, channeling his famous role as “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski,” he crept forward and bowled a “strike” to Brian Wilson. He fired a more conventional toss after that.